What it means to be creative - Part 2: A letter to my brain

Dear Brain,

It’s been too long since we’ve sat down to talk. There were a lot of things in my life that needed my attention, but that’s no excuse. I know that you must have felt like I was pushing you aside. I didn’t mean to ignore you.

I’m sorry about that.

We had a good run together. You’ve always been there when I need you, but it seems like we've fallen off the path lately. I recognize now that I’ve taken you for granted. I wasn’t treating you well and pushed you to your limits–constantly asking for more. That's hard for me to admit. I kept you up late when I know that what you needed most was rest. I didn’t allow you to express yourself when times got tough. And I held you to immeasurable standards. That would be difficult on anyone.

I set you up with goals and ideas and left you to fend for yourself when they got muddied with opinions. Perhaps making you feel like you weren’t enough. But I felt like you were comparing me to others, making me feel like I didn’t measure up either. You made me believe that my achievements were small compared to the success of those around me. After a while, it took a toll on me. But now that my heart is healed we can move forward again. I know that those things are not true and you didn’t mean it.

I want us to make up.

I had to take a step back and tend to my heart–it needed mending. Since I’ve been away, I’ve made a conscious effort to build good habits like eating better, waking up early, journaling, meditating in prayer, and practicing gratitude. You may even have noticed a sense of peace and clarity around you. This is why.

What I’m trying to say is that we’ve accomplished a lot over the past few years, but we lost sight of what was truly important, like family and our health. But now that it’s behind us, let’s use this opportunity to start over. Growth only happens through adversity, and we’ve proven that. I didn’t do all of this for me–I did it for you.

You see, you’re not just any brain. You’re a creative mind. You see the world in ways that few can, and you deserve the joyful heart of an artist to support you.

You are a dreamer. And I love that about you.

Now that you remember why you create, I want to encourage you to do it with reckless abandon. It’s time to get started and quit procrastinating because you know what your purpose is now. That feeling you have when you wake up in the middle of the night, that thing that pushes you out of bed every morning–it’s your calling. Listen to it.

Think back to when you were a kid. The world was filled with excitement and wonderful possibilities. We would sit and draw for hours on end until the world around us faded away. In those moments, nothing else mattered, other than piece right in front of us. Look deep inside, and you’ll find that same child-like excitement still exists.

The work that we’ve done to get to this point was to enable us to live. But not just any life. To live to our fullest potential. To live a life worthy of our calling. And there’s that word, worthy. Worthy doesn't mean one that you have to earn. It means to make it one worth living and to do it fulfilling your purpose.

C.S. Lewis said, “you can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

There’s a saying, “embrace your weird.” It means to grab hold of your ideas and stand by your beliefs. There are a number of things that make you special, and it’s time that you let your light shine. Don’t shy away for fear of what people might say. When you’re honest and create something unique, it elicits an emotional response which only attracts people to you and those beliefs. Once you start, I think you’ll find that everyone is a little bit weird. So don’t try to conform to the norm. Don’t try to be like everyone else. It’s boring.

I know that as I say this, you’re still worried about one thing. “Is your work good enough?” And I’m sorry to say that I don’t know. What I do know, is that you are enough. Creativity comes from within, but it’s not limited to you. The next time you sit down to work on something, forget about all of the creative geniuses you study and what your body of work will say after you’re gone. You don’t have to be a genius to create something remarkable. Instead, remember that everyone has genius—the potential to create something greater than oneself.

Let's take it one season at a time. But this next season of life- this one promises to be the best one yet. So please give it a chance. Allow yourself to be proud. Be joyful. Just be you.